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View Full Version : Slit seeding vs. broadcast overseed then topdress


DA Quality Lawn & YS
07-28-2009, 10:30 PM
Hypothetical question guys. For an established lawn (northern grasses, clay loam), what method of overseeding would be better for seed to soil contact and hence germination.

1) Cut existing lawn short, then slit seed.
2) Broadcast overseed, then topdress with layer of compost.

Also, does it pay to core aerate before either or both of these operations to enhance results?

Thanks much guys!

integrityman
07-28-2009, 11:52 PM
I always core aerate before seeding.

I have seeded both ways. Over/ slit seeding and broadcast with top dressing.

Both methods are effective. I do like to cut the existing grass just a little shorter before seeding though.

I always select a grass variety that will do well for the environment it is in too.

jsf343
07-29-2009, 06:02 PM
another question to add to this thread, if the lawn is infested with various types of weed grasses and you wanted to do a new lawn would the steps be in this order?

1. mow grass ultra short, nuke with round up?
2. come back a week or so later and thatch/aerate/slit seed
3. top dress and roll?

To be honest I have never done it and want to make sure the steps are right
before I try it. I may be buying a lawn solutions renovator at some point soon because I see a need for something like this.

sorry to do a small hijack but it seemed along the same lines topic wise.

thanks.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
07-29-2009, 06:21 PM
Bump - see OP.

rcreech
07-29-2009, 06:32 PM
Slice seeding is the best IMO!

Slice seeding or core then slice seeding is probably your best, cheapert and simplest way.

JDUtah
07-29-2009, 09:34 PM
another question to add to this thread, if the lawn is infested with various types of weed grasses and you wanted to do a new lawn would the steps be in this order?

1. mow grass ultra short, nuke with round up?
2. come back a week or so later and thatch/aerate/slit seed
3. top dress and roll?

To be honest I have never done it and want to make sure the steps are right
before I try it. I may be buying a lawn solutions renovator at some point soon because I see a need for something like this.

sorry to do a small hijack but it seemed along the same lines topic wise.

thanks.

I would Round Up two weeks before mowing it short... mow short then round up (spot) again. Seed 2+ days after that.

jsf343
07-30-2009, 12:22 AM
I would Round Up two weeks before mowing it short... mow short then round up (spot) again. Seed 2+ days after that.


I just figured if it was fresh cut it would get to the roots that much quicker.
whats your favorite top dress to use? some kind of 3 way mix?

By the way looking forward the Utah coming to Oregon in Sept. I rooted for them in their bowl game (impressive win) it will be a great game, 2 great teams. Man I can't wait for college football to start!

Smallaxe
07-30-2009, 09:16 AM
If you have a lot of grass already, slit seeding may be your only way of achieving soil contact.
If the surface is exposed and thin then you may be able to get by with broadcast and cover.
If the soil is compacted at the surface, aeration is one way of breaking up the surface, but it is only a hole surrounded by impervious surface. Power rake or drag behind dethatcher works better for seeding, then cover with compost.

Still have thin spots in November???... overseed during the first permanent snow storm. Freezing/thawing cycle of spring - plants the seed and sprouts it when the soil warms. It is a great backup for a lackluster performance in the fall.

cpa4t9r
07-30-2009, 04:10 PM
++1 Smallaxe

If you're gonna use Roundup, don't cut it beforehand - you want it be absorbed by the foliage - that's how it gets to the roots, not whether the top of grass is closer to the roots.

Slit seeding is the best. I core before and then slit seed, which helps chop up the cores too. I cut shorter than usual, but they say you don't really need to if you're slit seeding because its all about soil contact. No need to stress out the existing grass if you have a good stand.

kirk1701
07-30-2009, 04:19 PM
Have a question here also, this is my plan too as of this fall; core before and then slit seed and top dress with compost.

My question is going to be on the compost. I will be renting the power seeder and doing all that in one day. Then spreading the compost by hand and since I'm the only one doing it that part will take a week maybe more.

Will my seed end up rotting if it's not making contact prior to my getting to it with the compost?

Whitey4
07-30-2009, 06:31 PM
I just don't like slit seeding very much unless the lawn is in pretty bad shape... one degree away from needing a total renovation. It woks pretty well with rye and tall fescue lawns, but so many of mine are KGB and creeping fescue, slit seeding really tears them up.

In other words, for TFFL and rye, I think it woks great, but for grasses that spread through tillers, it really rips them up. I've done this.... and the lawn looks like it was dethatched and never cleaned up, especially if I made two passes with the slit seeder.

I now prefer to make 3 passes with an aerator, over seed, and drag, then top dress, as I have zero TF or rye only lawns. Most of them are mixed KGB, rye and creeping fescue.

If a lawn has heavy thatch, rather than slit seeding I recommend a total renovation instead. Kill, dethatch deeply, remove debris, seed and top dress.

Smallaxe
07-30-2009, 10:52 PM
Seed doesn't really rot... usually just sits until the conditions are right.
Once it soaks up the 'caruncle' of the seed, however then dries out - it may die.

LawnSolutionsCP
08-01-2009, 12:51 PM
Dont try and top dress by hand.

Make sure to take before, after and during pictures of the project.

Top dressing too much or in clumps will keep the seed from germinating propertly. It is a lot of work too.

kirk1701
08-02-2009, 07:00 AM
Dont try and top dress by hand.

Make sure to take before, after and during pictures of the project.

Top dressing too much or in clumps will keep the seed from germinating propertly. It is a lot of work too.

Got your PM LawnSolutions; Thanks there :drinkup:

The compost I have, pretty much bagged in two pallets of 40 Lb bags from lowes LMAO so its not clumpy at all and hoping they get more in before fall as its the only place in the area to get compost believe that?

And when I say by hand; I mean coffee can and spread lightly not the dump with shovel and spread with rake. That's going to take a while :cry:

Will do on the pic's, I'll send you a link to the thread when I post up but honestly, yard looks great now with all this rain I can't complain I've had a great growing season and the powerseeding I did last fall really paid off :walking:

Got some work to do so I'll check back later